Sunday, July 03, 2016


The X Files Über Alles


THE SERIES 1993-2002

A series that lasts nine years has to cross many fields and terrains and meet many challenges if they are not terminating dangers or potentials. The general idea is in itself submitted to such eventualities, either Fox Mulder is menaced in  his integrity, in his life or in his FBI position and we end a season on a cliffhanger that is uncomfortable and then tricky to solve.

This very long series correspond to the strangest period in the history of the USA – and a little bit, a very little bit the world often reduced to Russia. It is the period covering Bill Clinton’s presidency and the first two years of George W. Bush’s own presidency, hence up to the campaign against Afghanistan and Iraq, the lies in the United Nations and the perverted objectives and ambitions that have set the world upside down. The conspiracy, if conspiracy there was or might have been, could no longer be seen as coming from inside the US government, the unseen dark aisles behind and under the Pentagon and the State Department. So it had to go back to an older fear, and that was extraterrestrials, the War of the Worlds and other Martians story but on the bleak side. No Encounters of any third type. Just plain hostile and warlike.

The general idea is that some obscure committee composed of a camarilla of obscure biggies in the world came together just after the Second World War – we are of course speaking of the West as opposed to the Communist block reduced to being the USSR often called Russia or Siberia in this later period – to face a danger of a new type: the famous extraterrestrials that landed in Roswell. The general idea is that humanity as such is of extraterrestrial origin – note this forgets to answer about the origin of this intelligent life that was able to roam in the cosmos some millions or billions of years ago, making God the Creator an extraterrestrial himself – and those in 1946-47 started plans with some humans to prepare some mix of human and extraterrestrial genes to produce the people who will be needed to take over the planet again when ready, or to produce super soldiers in another shade of the tale.

This nostalgic comeback, nostalgic on the side of the extraterrestrials but also on the side of the aficionados of the war of the world and Orson Welles, is modified from time to time with the principle that an extraterrestrial virus is being spread in the world via bees, corn or whatever, after a great number of humans had been abducted to be implanted with a controlling capsule, and even by the hypothesis that it won’t work anyway and it is better to plan the termination of the human race. The gist of the problem is that “the  truth is out there” which means it is not in us, the humans. Yet “out there” has many meanings. It can be out there in the cosmos with the extraterrestrials, or out there in the black, dark and inscrutable alleys and aisles of the federal government buildings where some monsters may be roaming. To make them dark plotters allied to extraterrestrials look bad all means are used: a major one is a chain smoker. The others are either obese or on the very fat side, and they have heavy non-American including British accents, etc.

The whole story then is that of a plot of some humans with extraterrestrials for these extraterrestrials to recuperate their extraterrestrial investment on earth by re-conquering earth, and these plotters use all means to control as many people in the state apparatus as possible. What is not explained is why the FBI, part of the innermost circle of power, decided to create a special department with only two agents but with great powers, to study all paranormal phenomena, and of course first of all the most paranormal if not the most abnormal phenomena having to do with extraterrestrials. It will never be clear if it was some guilt covering decision, or if it was some real anxiety of what may happen if it were true, or even if it was a way to sidetrack some agents and to satisfy the career-minded social climbing of some unscrupulous agents. Probably a little of all and many other motivations all around.

What makes the series strange and fascinating is the fact that they deal with phenomena that really look at first sight banal. It is always dealing with some strange death or unexplained disappearance and/or abduction. Instead of solving the crimes in the good CSI line, or instead of clearing the plate in the good Supernatural tradition, it always has the bias of an obscure shady plot from inside the government of the US always having to do with extraterrestrials and only paralleled to the same but a lot more obscure dealings of the Russians in Siberia. The systematic victimization of the two main agents and their substitutes in the last season is also a hallmark of the attraction of the series. Just think of all the marginal political movements that have invoked in a way or another an unredeemably bad plot from the military forces, the police, the capitalists, corporations, high-tech companies, the you-name-them-you-have-them muddy and deeply egotistic groups.

It is always such an idea that is behind all the protest groups in the world. At times it is rather realistic but in many other cases it is the sign of the paranoia or the schizophrenia of a vast number of people in our world. In older centuries that kind of ideology was covered by the street corner preachers announcing the end of the world or the apocalypse. Nowadays it is easier to mobilize at times big mass of people, at times a majority in elections or a referendum, against a supposed plot from any one establishment you may think of.

On the entertaining side this series is a perfect example of this fantasized world of politics. And you can be sure there is no truth in it all, since truth is out there so it cannot be here in the stories. All religions started the same way: the truth was over there on Mount Olympus, or on Mount Sinai, or simply in the vast cosmos where God himself, and his spirit, lived over there on the other side of the divide between life and fantasy. Nothing has changed, except the medium transporting this new religious delirium: television it is, and this medium makes it extremely entertaining though little mesmerizing, or at least not at all in any kind of religious meaning. Mulder might be a Fox, but he sure is not a Messiah, and Scully is certainly not a Holy Virgin.

Enjoy the trip.



This first film, when the series was at its highest point of prestige and ascent, is only some kind of variation on the themes of the series itself. Nothing new under the sun, or the full moon as for that. It got some inspiration from some Predator, Aliens or Terminator films of some kind with a super flying saucer buried deep in Antarctica and collecting abducted human beings and keeping them frozen to transport them eventually into space.

Of course Scully is abducted in such a program and finds herself frozen for transportation in this flying saucer. But Mulder will save the plot by entering the flying saucer through some backdoor, showing by the way how minimal security is for these extraterrestrials. The film is not that great about the theme. It uses a lot of clichés that had had plenty of time to settle in five years of the series, including the famous nameless cigarette chain smoker.

But this film has the main defect of a TV series turned cinema. A TV series has to be cut up in short section of 6 and a half minutes for advertising, and it is shorter than a film since it lasts less than an hour, often not more than 45 minutes. In the film they more or less respect that format though they make the sequences slightly longer and that makes the film slow altogether and slowness is a defect for an action film.

So it is some easy entertaining but nothing thrilling.



Ten years after the first film and six years after the end of the series, a second film is brought up. Scully and Mulder are no longer FBI agents and dealing with the X files that must have disappeared. Yet they get mixed up in a strange story of a missing FBI agent who comes to the attention of Dr Scully in her hospital work because of some kind of psychic who pretends he sees the missing agent.

Just that level of fable and the resistance Mulder airs are quite banal and in no way surprising. Yet of course the two will get involved in this abduction or disappearance. But it will become very gross and typical of George W. Bush’s paranoia about the world and Russia in particular.

The FBI agent was abducted because she was the proper genetic stuff to provide a body to the head of a man who would have been dying if he had not been hosted by a body that is worth little. No surprise of course that the head is that of a man, and the new body is that of an abducted female FBI agent. I guess in 2008 no one was particular about gender orientation any more, in spite of Proposition 8 in California.

The worst part is that this Frankenstein research was performed by some Russian doctors who experimented on dogs, transferring one head to another body and vice versa, producing mongrels of another nature.

Apart from the gruesome and out-grossing pictures, situations and ideas, this film has little to do with traditional themes in the X files. It is not even in any way paranormal since it is perfectly imaginable today, even in 2008, that such grafting techniques were possible. In the same way as the other film adapted from the series, this film is too slow in rhythm. I guess it takes some imagination to understand that the two media, TV and cinema, do not have the same logic and thus do not work the same way. For one, the screens are not the same size and the definition is till different.


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